Gum disease is not just a cosmetic concern. When gum disease is allowed to progress untreated, the gums will begin to pull away from the tooth. This creates a space, called a periodontal pocket, wherein bacteria and other toxins can accumulate. These pockets can eventually cause the tooth to weaken and fall out.

If you have been experiencing pain in your gum or experiencing bad breath for a long time, perhaps you have a gum problem that needs to be treated ASAP.

What Causes Gum Problems?

A buildup of plaque causes gum disease. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth. It’s harmless in small amounts, but when it’s allowed to accumulate, it can harden into tartar. 

If left alone, plaque and tartar will eventually cause the breakdown of tooth enamel, damage to the gums and supporting tissues, and the formation of periodontal pockets.

What Happens If You Have Periodontal Disease?

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It shows up as red, swollen gums that bleed easily. It can be reversed with good daily home care, regular cleanings, and flossing.

The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. It’s a more advanced stage of gum infection. Large pockets (holes) develop between the gums and teeth. The teeth become loose and can eventually fall out. Left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and other complications.

What Can You Do?

If you’re experiencing signs of gum disease, schedule an emergency appointment with us to evaluate your situation. We can help you get back on the road to good oral health.

One of the most common treatments that people with gum problems should know is scaling and root planing. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Understanding Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a procedure that removes plaque, tartar, and calculus from teeth to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. It is used to treat gum disease and other dental problems. It can also be performed as part of a routine dental check-up to improve and maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

What Happens in Scaling and Root Planing?

Before the procedure begins, your dentist will administer local anesthesia by temporarily numbing the affected areas. It prevents you from feeling any discomfort during the process.

Next, your dentist will use a dental scaler, a special tool with a triangular-shaped head, to scrape off the plaque and tartar, along with any areas of calculus, from your teeth. Once the area is cleaned, your dentist will use another special instrument called a curette to clean the deeper areas of your gum line.

Why Do You Need SRP?

The bacteria in your mouth can cause problems with your teeth if they aren’t removed because they stick to your teeth, even if you floss or use an electric toothbrush. SRP is needed to clean your teeth properly and remove buildup. 

What to Expect After Scaling and Root Planing

After the procedure, expect your mouth to feel tender for 12 to 24 hours. Your gums may feel mildly swollen and sensitive. Your mouth may be sore when you bite into food. You may also have some bleeding, discoloration, and discomfort in your gums, which may feel sensitive.

Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions about rest and nutrition. It’s also vital to attend your follow-up appointments to ensure that the procedure has eliminated all of the tartar that needed to be removed. Your dentist may also suggest dental sealants or fluoride treatments, depending on your dental needs.

It can take a couple of days for your mouth to heal and for you to feel back to normal, but you will do so in just a matter of days.


If you are suffering from gum disease, you must seek professional help and treatment. The alternative, tooth loss, is not only expensive and inconvenient but also dangerous. Gum disease is a serious problem that can be treated with the right hands and equipment. Don’t take it too lightly. 

If you are suffering from gum disease and need a gum specialist in Worcester, contact the dental professionals at Chelmsford Dental Specialists Group. We have a wide variety of dental treatments available to help you recover your oral health and confident smile. Book an appointment today.

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